Keeping a home draught-free
It's time to say bye-bye to summer and hello to winter, and while we may not like the cold weather, winter is a brief change from the usual and a chance to snuggle up in a warm home until the summer once again makes her appearance. But before you start snuggling there are a few essential tasks that need to be done.
If you home is like a freezer in winter, chances are you need to pay attention to weatherproofing your home. Draughts around windows, under doors and down the chimney can soon suck the heat out of a home and have you turning up the heat, only to feel it vanish in an instant.
Pop into your local Builders Warehouse and ask for self-adhesive rubber strips that can be stuck around window frames to ensure a snug fit and cut down on draughts.
Sliding doors, especially wooden sliding doors, are big culprits for draughts and you will find large gaps between the door panels. If you are able to remove the doors, stick down a strip of weatherproofing and block out the chill. If you aren't able to take out the doors, you could install a draught excluder strip along the edge of one door to cover the gap, or consider installing heavier curtains during the winter months will reduce the draughts coming into your home.
Damn that door
Ill-fitting doors are something that most homeowners have to put up with. Not that long ago I purchased a wood panel door with huge gaps between the panels. That very quickly went back for a refund! But gaps under doors are an easy fix. All you need is a door sweep (an aluminium strip with rubber flap) that can be fitted at the bottom of the door to keep out draughts.
If it's only a small gap at the bottom of the door and you don't want to go to the trouble of fitting a door sweep, use scraps of fabric, old towels or bedlinen to make up a sausage. You can even use an old pair of nylon stockings stuffed with fabric scraps to make a quick and easy sausage that can be placed to block out draughts throughout the house.
Pool noodles also make great draught excluders. Cover them with a nylon fabric that won't get stuck on a carpet and use them to block draughts under interior doors.
If you have a chimney that is more for decoration than keeping a home warm, you are losing a lot of heat by not covering up the front fireplace.
Make up a fireplace cover that closes off the open hearth and blocks cold draughts coming down the chimney. A simple cover can be made of plywood, stained to match your decor, a sheet of supawood painted in your choice of colour, or a fabric panel and velcro strips to attach the fabric panel over the front of the fireplace.
Older model air conditioners fitted to walls or windows allow heat to escape through the vents. If you don't use the air conditioner during winter, block off the vents and cut down on draughts coming in and warm air escaping.
We know that heat rises so, in a double-storey home don't let heat escape through empty rooms. Close upstairs and downstairs doors when rooms are not in use to retain heat.
By following the above tips and taking action to remedy any additional draughty spots in a home you know you won't be wasting energy to keep it warm.